Reds’ Trevor Bauer: ‘I Don’t See How’ I Don’t Win Cy Young This Season

Cincinnati Reds' Trevor Bauer winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Aaron Doster/Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer authored an eight-inning, one-run, 12-strikeout performance in a 6-1 home win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

When asked after the game whether he believed he had done enough to earn the National League‘s Cy Young award, he replied, “I don’t know how you could see it any other way,” per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Bauer is 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 73.0 innings.

ESPN’s Cy Young predictor isn’t as high on Bauer’s chances. He’s 10th on the NL pitcher rankings, with Atlanta Braves southpaw Max Fried and Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish tied up top.

Bauer has the best ERA among all starters on that list and the second-best ERA overall behind only Chicago Cubs closer Jeremy Jeffress. He’s also No. 1 in both strikeouts and shutouts.

However, his 5-4 record is unsightly compared to others. Fried is 7-0, and Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is 6-2.

Voters could also use team record against Bauer. He’s on a mediocre 29-28 Reds team fighting for a playoff berth, while Fried, Darvish and Kershaw are playing on division leaders (or clinched winners, in Kershaw’s case).

However, judging pitchers by wins and losses is a largely archaic method these days. Statistics such as XFIP, strikeout rate and SIERA have proved far more valuable.

The Cy Young is also given to the best pitcher in each league and not the most valuable, which brings with it an edge and bias toward players on better teams. In other words, the Reds’ up-and-down season shouldn’t be held against Bauer.

Bauer has been lights-out this year and has clear advantages over other pitchers in the field. While he may not be a shoo-in for the award, he can clearly make a case for being the NL’s top starter.

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